Want to be a commercial fisherman for a day? A digital reservation platform in Spain that works with the fishing industry, offers trips onboard fishing vessels and other educational but fun activities such as workshops for landlubbers who fancy a taste of what a real job is like. This company, and others, have developed a business that is growing every year, catering mostly to foreign visitors except in Galicia where the market is mostly local. Pescatourism, or fishing tourism, is more than a dockside tourism attraction, it educates and informs the public about an artisanal industry that battles decline as young people increasingly leave for the big city. Furthermore, the fishers and their artisanal vessels and methods that bring the catch from the sea face threats from industrial fishing that may be more efficient but may be less sustainable.
This subsector of Spain’s fishing industry has attracted the attention of the Secretary of State for Tourism, to create a national fishing tourism network that has launched this activity. Nearly a dozen entities from all over the Spanish coast have joined this initiative, to combine the proposals for visits on board, gastronomic fairs and hospitality businesses involved in the dissemination of marine heritage. As it evolves, there will be vocational training, where participants become certified fishing tourism workers, with all the various skills in fishing including knot tying, first aid and emergency response, dockside maintenance and management, and more. The certification course will begin in 2023-2024.